CAT Exam Pattern 2022: Check Here New Section Wise Pattern and Marking Scheme

Updated on
August 9, 2022

CAT 2022 Exam Pattern: Exam on Nov 27; Check Overall & Sectional Composition, Scoring pattern, Weightage, CAT Vs other exams

CAT 2022 exam date is November 27, 2022 and the exam will be conducted in three slots of two hours each. The exam pattern for CAT 2022 is completely changed with fewer number of questions by IIM Bangalore which is conducting CAT this year. Some of the features in CAT exam pattern – like number of sections, scoring pattern, sectional and overall time limit are not changed.

 

CAT 2022

Here, you will get complete details about the revised exam pattern of CAT exam, its sectional composition, scoring pattern, past trends in CAT exam pattern and other key information. MBAUniverse.com has also provided past CAT papers and model papers as per exact CAT test paper to help you assess your preparation. You can attempt each of these papers free of cost.  Read below the revised CAT exam pattern, sectional composition, sectional and total number of questions, difficulty level among other details. The same  

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Table of Contents

  1. CAT 2022 Exam Pattern: Key Highlights of Revised Pattern
  2. CAT 2022 Exam Pattern Vs Last year pattern: Key Changes
  3. Key Features of CAT 2022 Exam: Not an Online Exam and More
  4. CAT 2022 Pattern: Sectional Composition
  5. Detailed Section wise Pattern for CAT 2022: Sections, Sub-sections, Difficulty level
  6. Eight Key Facts about CAT Exam 2022
  7. CAT exam Pattern: Last Six Years
  8. CAT 2022: Computer Based Exam but Not Online Test
  9. CAT Vs Other Top MBA Entrance Exams: Comparative Analysis
  10. CAT Exam: Key Trends since Computerization
  11. Possible Disruptions in CAT 2022 Due to Covid
  12. FAQs on CAT Exam Pattern

 1. CAT 2022 Exam Pattern: Key Highlights of Revised Pattern
The CAT 2022 pattern is likely to remain same as was for CAT 2022.

  • Same number of 3 CAT exam slots
  • Same Time duration of 2 hours
  • CAT question paper to remain divided between MCQs and Non MCQs
  • Scoring pattern with +3 marks for each correct answer
  • Same Negative marking for MCQs with -1 for each wrong answer
  • No Negative marking for Non-MCQ
  • Same number of 66 questions in CAT exam
  • No change in the CAT testing mode

Although, CAT exam pattern keeps on getting revamped at least to some extent after each CAT exam, IIM which will conduct CAT 2022 exam is likely to keep the CAT exam pattern and format on the same lines. 

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1.1 CAT Pattern 2022: Key Highlights
CAT 2022 Exam is likely to have following structure and pattern

CAT 2022 Exam Components
CAT 2022 Pattern
Test duration
2 hrs (120 Minutes)
Test sessions/Slots
3 (Morning, Afternoon and Evening)
Total questions
66
Total score
198
Number of Sections in CAT question paper
3 (VARC; DILR; QA)
Time Allotted for Each Section in CAT exam
40 Minutes
Total questions in VARC Section
24
Total Questions in DILR section
20
Total Questions in QA section
22

1.2 CAT 2022 Remains a Computer Based Test
IIMs will conduct CAT 2022 as a computer based test. As per the revised pattern, CAT 2022 will be divided into 3 sections – VARC, DILR and Quant. Each section is timed with the individual time limit. You need to ensure high score in each of the three sections as there is also a sectional score cut off in IIMs for shortlisting. It will be a computer based test of 2 hours duration on the same date.


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2. CAT 2022 Pattern Vs Last year CAT Pattern: Key Highlights
There were 66 questions in last year CAT exam and IIMs propose to keep the same number of questions in CAT 2022 too.

 

2.1 Expected Number of Questions in CAT 2022 Vs CAT 2022

CAT Exam Year
Time limit
Total number of Questions
CAT 2021
120 Minutes (2 Hours)
 66
CAT 2022
120 Minutes (2 Hours)
66 (Expected)

All the three CAT exam 2022 testing slots are designed to ensure the safety of all stake holders in the Covid pandemic.

 

3. Key Features of CAT 2022 Exam Pattern
IIMs will release the CAT 2022 Notification in the last week of July or first week of August 2022 on CAT official website as well as in News papers. Following are the key features of CAT 2022 exam

4. CAT 2022 Pattern: Sectional Composition
CAT exam is changed to 2 hours exam. Earlier it was of 3 hours duration. Key details are shared below

  • CAT 2022 Exam is of  2 Hours duration like last year.
  • CAT 2022 exam slots are Morning, Afternoon and Evening sessions
  • CAT 2022 Exam to have 66 Questions divided into MCQs and Non-MCQ type questions

The table below shares the CAT exam sectional order from Section-1 to Section-3, number and type of questions in each section, questions with and without negative marking and total maximum marks available for each section for the CAT exam 2022 

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4.1 CAT 2022 pattern: Sectional composition
CAT 2022 will have the pattern as shown below in the table which shares the CAT exam sectional order from Section-1 to Section-3, number and type of questions in each section, questions with and without negative marking and total maximum marks available for each section

CAT 2022 exam components
Total questions
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Highlights
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
24
19
5
4 RC Passages with MCQs; VA Non MCQs divided into Para jumbles, Para Summary, and Out of Context Sentences
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
20
15
5
LR – 10 Ques
DI – 10 Ques
All in Sets of 3 & 4 Qs
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)
22
14
8
High on Arithmetic. Other on Log, Geometry, Roots, Algebra
Total
66
 48
18
 --

Source: MBAUniverse.com analysis

 

4.2 CAT Pattern 2022 at a Glance

cat exam pattern

 

5. Detailed Section wise Pattern for CAT 2022: Sections, Sub-sections, Difficulty level
CAT exam was totally revamped by IIM Ahmedabad in 2015 and since then CAT has followed the same pattern for all the 3 sections. The section wise key features of CAT 2022 sectional exam pattern are:

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5.1 Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Total questions: 24
  • RC passages: 4-5
  • Share of RC Based Questions: 70%
  • Type of RC Based questions: All MCQs with 1/3 negative marking
  • VA questions: 5-6
  • Type of VA Questions: Non-MCQs without negative marking
  • LOD: Moderate to Very difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • No Grammar or vocabulary based questions
  • Verbal Ability questions confines to 3 topics – Jumbled paragraph; Para summary; picking the odd sentence out of the jumbled sentences

5.2 Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Total questions: 20 
  • Share of DI questions: 10
  • Share of LR questions: 10
  • Type of Questions: MCQs: 75%; Non-MCQs: 25%
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • Questions appear in set of 4
  • Time crunch is faced by test takers as questions are more time consuming

5.3 Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Total questions: 22
  • Type of Questions: MCQs: 14; Non-MCQs: 8
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • More questions are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & speed, Work/days, Compound interest

5.4 Sub-Sections in CAT Exam
There are sub sections within the 3 sections in revised pattern for CAT exam 2022. For example, the revamped VARC section in CAT consists of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension sub sections; DILR contains questions on Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning.  


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6. Eight Key Facts about CAT Exam 2022

  1. CAT Test takers cannot leave their seats during the exam.
  2. There may not be any answer choices for some of the Non-MCQs in revised pattern of CAT 2022
  3. Each correct answer in CAT exam will be awarded 3 marks whether it is MCQ or Non-MCQ
  4. CAT remains on the lines of CAT official Mock test released by IIMs a month before the CAT exam.
  5. A few days before CAT 2022 exam date, IIMs release CAT exam day guide, key features of CAT exam, CAT exam navigation guide to answer MCQ and Non-MCQ questions with important instructions
  6. CAT Test Day Workflow for Candidates for slot-1, slot-2 and slot-3 (If any) of CAT exam is published on official CAT website by IIMs
  7. IIMs also release the CAT exam day important Do’s and Don’ts. It includes how to get ready for CAT exam day, and how to go through the key activities from the time of entering the CAT exam centre to leaving the testing hall.
  8. No candidate is allowed to wear jackets, jewellery, shoes, watch or carry the mobile phone, bag, wallets, electronic gadgets, stationary items inside the CAT testing hall.

7. CAT exam Pattern: Last Six Years
From 2015 to 2019 IIM-CAT remained a three hour exam and was conducted in two slots on the same day. Following CAT pattern was followed from 2015 to 2019

Section as per CAT exam Pattern
Total questions
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Total maximum marks
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
34
24 to 27
7 to 10
102
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
32
24
8
  96
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)
34
23 to 27
7 to 11
102

8. CAT 2022: Computer Based Exam but Not Online Test
Is the CAT online test? Responding to this query IIMs respond that CAT paper pattern is computer based but CAT is NOT online test. Regarding the exam pattern of CAT, IIMs clarify “CAT is not an online exam. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT); that is, a candidate will not take the exam on an internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.”
 

So, the CAT exam pattern 2022, despite being a computer based exam, is not an online exam. Sharing the key difference and USPs of CAT exam pattern, IIMs further elaborate “In the computer-based format, the candidate reads a question on a computer terminal and clicks on the correct answer. Additionally, the timer on the computer screen tells you the remaining time to complete the current section.”

 

After the major transformation of going green in 2009, CAT exam structure and pattern has been revised number of times in terms of number of sections, number of questions, time duration, difficulty level, type of questions, scoring pattern and testing window.  IIM Ahmedabad which conducted Common Admission Test (CAT) in 2015, brought about number of changes in CAT exam pattern increasing the number of CAT sections from 2 to 3; introducing Non-MCQs.  After that CAT exam pattern has stabilized to a great extent. The exam is also now held in a single day as against a long testing window of 30-40 days.

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9. CAT Vs Other Top MBA Entrance Exams: Comparative Analysis
In view of prevailing Covid pandemic situation, CAT exam pattern 2022 Vs other exams is shared as under

 

9.1 CAT 2022 Vs XAT 2022
IIM CAT 2022 and XAT 2022 have many similarities which give the opportunity to the candidates to synchronise their sectional and overall exam preparation. A comparative analysis between both the exams is shared below

Component
 IIM CAT 2022
XLRI - XAT
Total questions
 66
100
Overall time limit to attempt the exam
 2 hours
3 hours
Type of questions
MCQs, and Non-MCQs
MCQs
Answer options for each MCQ
4
5
Marks awarded for each correct answer
3
1
Negative marking
MCQs with 1/3 negative marking; No negative marking for Non-MCQs
75 MCQs with 1/4 negative marking; No negative marking for 25 MCQs on GK
Exam difficulty level
Comparatively high
High
Number of sections
3
3 (Main sections)
1 (GK score not counted)
Name of section-1 with number of questions
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension -24
English Language & Logical Reasoning- 26
Name of Section-2 with number of questions
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning-20
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation- 28
Name of Section-3 with number of questions
Quantitative Ability-22
Decision Making-21
Facility to choose order of sections
No, has to follow pre defined sectional order
Any question from any section within overall time limit
Individual Sectional time limit
Each section with 40 Minute time limit
No
Top MBA colleges accepting exam score
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMI, IITs, XIMB
XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT, TAPMI, XIMB

9.2 CAT 2022 Vs NMAT 2022
IIM CAT 2022 and NMAT by GMAC have many similarities which give the opportunity to the candidates to synchronise their sectional and overall exam preparation. A comparative analysis between both the exams is shared below:

Component
 IIM CAT 2022
NMAT Exam Pattern 2022
Total questions
 66
108
Overall time limit to attempt the exam
 2 hours
 2 hours
Type of questions
MCQs and Non-MCQs
All MCQs
Answer options for MCQs
4
5
Marks awarded for each correct answer
3
1
Negative marking
MCQs with 1/3 negative marking; No negative marking for Non-MCQs
No negative marking
Exam difficulty level
Comparatively high
Moderate
Number of sections
3
3
Name of section-1 with number of questions
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: 24
Language Skills-36
Name of Section-2 with number of questions
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:20
Logical Reasoning-36
Name of Section-3 with number of questions
Quantitative Ability: 22
Quantitative Skills-36
Facility to choose order of sections
No, has to follow pre defined sectional order
Yes, but once chosen has to follow
Individual Sectional time limit
Each section with 40 minute time limit
Yes, varying time limit of 28 minutes to 62 minutes
Top MBA colleges accepting exam score
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMI, IITs, XIMB
NMIMS, VIT, XIMB

9.3 CAT 2022 Vs SNAP 2022
CAT 2022 and SNAP have many similarities which give the opportunity to the candidates to synchronise their sectional and overall exam preparation. A comparative analysis between both the exams is shared below

Component
IIMs CAT 2022
SNAP 2022
Total Questions
66
60
Overall Time Limit to Attempt the Exam
 2 hours
 1 hour
Type of Questions
MCQs, non MCQs
60 MCQs
Answer Options for MCQs
4
 4
Marks Awarded for each Correct Answer
3 for All questions
 1 for all questions
Negative Marking
MCQs with 1/3 negative marking;
25% for all questions
No negative marking for Non-MCQs
NA
Exam Difficulty Level
Difficult
Moderate
Number of Sections
3
3
Section-1: Name and Number of Questions
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: 24
General English, RC,VR,VA-15
Section-2: Name and Number of Questions
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:20
Analytical & Logical Reasoning-25
Section-3: Name and Number of Questions
Quantitative Ability:22
Quant, DI, Data Sufficiency-20
Facility to Choose Order of Sections
No, has to follow pre defined sectional order
Yes, any question from any section within overall time limit
Individual Sectional Time Limit
Each section with 40 minute time limit
No
Top MBA Colleges Accepting Exam Score
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMI, IMT, IITs, TAPMI, XIMB and hundreds of other B-schools. Read More
SIBM Pune, SCMHRD Pune, SIIB Pune, SIBM Bangalore & all other Symbiosis institutes. Read More

9.4 IIMs CAT Vs MAT
CAT 2022 and MAT have many similarities which give the opportunity to the candidates to synchronise their sectional and overall exam preparation. A comparative analysis between both the exams is shared below

Component
 IIM CAT 2022
MAT
Total Questions
66
200
Overall Time Limit to Attempt the Exam
 2 hours
 2½ hours
Question Format
MCQs, and Non-MCQs
All MCQs
Answer Options for MCQs
4
 4
Marks Awarded for Each Correct Answer
3
 1
Negative Marking
MCQs with 1/3 negative marking; No negative marking for Non-MCQs
0.25 mark
Exam Difficulty Level
Difficult
Easy to Moderate
Number of Sections
3
5
Section-1: Name and Number of Questions
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension:24
Language Comprehension: 40
Section-2: Name and Number of questions
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:20
Intelligence & Critical Reasoning: 40
Section-3: Name and Number of Questions
Quantitative Ability:22
Data Analysis & Sufficiency: 40
Section-4: Name and Number of Questions
Not Applicable
Mathematical Skills: 40
Section-5: Name and Number of Questions
Not Applicable
Indian & Global Environment: 40
Facility to Choose Order of Sections
No, should follow pre defined sectional order
Yes, any section/question within overall time limit
Individual Sectional time limit
Yes, each section with 40 minute time limit
No, Candidate to complete the test in 150 minutes
Top MBA colleges accepting exam score
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, NITIE, SPJIMR, IMI, IMT, IITs, TAPMI, XIMB and hundreds of others
Christ University, NDIM, DSIMS, IPE, IESMCRC, FIIB among 600 MBA colleges

10. CAT Exam: Key Trends since Computerization
CAT Exam over the past 12 years, since it was computerised in 2009, has gone for perceptible changes. CAT paper pattern prior to 2009 was paper-pen based. CAT exam format was changed from paper based exam to CAT computer based test in 2009. Even after that CAT paper pattern continued changing from 3 sections to 2 and then CAT exam again switched to 3 sections in 2015. Since then CAT is following similar pattern. CAT exam pattern over the years with changes in test duration, sectional composition and overall number of questions is as under.

Year
Total No of Qs
VA 
DI-LR
Quant
Difficulty level
Q break up
CAT 2021
66
VARC-24; RC-19 MCQs; Verbal 5 Non-MCQs
DILR-20; DI-10; LR-10
QA total Qs-22; 14 Non-MCQs; 8 Non-MCQs
Moderate to High
On Last Year pattern; VARC expected bit more difficult, DILR tricky, QA Moderate
CAT 2020
76
VARC-26. RC-18, (All MCQs), Verbal-8 (non MCQs)
DILR-24, DI-14, LR-10, MCQs-18, Non-MCQs-6
QA-Total-26. MCQs 18, Non-MCQs-8
Moderate to High
CAT 2020 was on last year question pattern. Difficulty level went up in each slot from slot-1 to slot-3
CAT 2019
100
VARC-34. RC-24, (All MCQs), Verbal-10 (non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
QA-Total-34. MCQs 23, Non-MCQs-11
Moderate to High
CAT on last year pattern with changes in number of MCQs & non-MCQs as given section wise
CAT 2018
100
VARC-34. RC-24, (All MCQs), Verbal-10 (2 MCQs, 7 non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Total-34. MCQs 22, Non-MCQs-12
Moderate to High
CAT Pattern in the lines of last year with changes in number of MCQs & non-MCQs in each section
CAT 2017
100
VARC-34. RC-24, (All MCQs), Verbal-10 (3 MCQs, 7 non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Total-34. MCQs 23, Non-MCQs-11
Moderate
CAT Pattern in the lines of last year with changes in non-MCQs in each section
CAT 2016
100
VARC-34, RC-24, (All MCQs), Verbal-10 (All non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Quant-34, MCQ-27, Non-MCQs-7
Moderate to difficult
CAT exam pattern on the same lines as of CAT exam pattern 2015 Non-MCQs in Quant reduced.
CAT 2015
100
VARC -34, RC-24 (MCQs), Verbal-10 (Non MCQs)
DILR-32, DI-16, LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Quant-34, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-10
Moderate to difficult
Time limit increased to 180 minutes; Sectional time constration of 1 hour re-introduced; Non-MCQs without negative marking penalty for wrong answer No questions on error correction and vocabulary.

10.1 Will CAT 2022 Structure & Content be Different?
It is likely that CAT exam pattern in terms of content & question topics may carry some minor changes for CAT 2022 exam. The exam has gone with perceptible changes since 2014 not only in CAT structure but also in content.

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Going by the tradition in changes in different type of questions in CAT, you cannot rule out a different CAT 2022 Exam pattern.  However, despite number of changes brought about during last 6 years in CAT exam, the basics of the CAT exam have not changed. CAT exam pattern since 2015 has remained on the same lines.

 

CAT 2022 exam pattern was changed due to Covid pandemic and the same CAT pattern continues for CAT 2022 with only change that the number questions may be reduced. It is expected that there could be some minor changes in number of questions and their sectional composition in actual CAT paper.  To make sure to bell the CAT 2023 with high score you need to take more Mock tests .

 

11. Possible Disruptions in CAT 2022 Due to Covid
The Convenor IIM for CAT 2022 has cautioned that the information provided by the CAT website is contingent upon the decisions and directions issued from time to time by the Central & State governments, and IIMs. Candidates are advised to regularly check the CAT website for the latest information.  

India’s Top MBA Entrance Exams: Check Dates, Pattern, Mocks, Registration Process…
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  • CMAT 2022 (Check Top Colleges): Moderate Difficulty Exam for AICTE Approved MBA/PGDM Colleges

Also Read: CAT Coaching: Best CAT Coaching Centers, Top CAT Coaching Institutes by City

12. FAQs on CAT Exam Pattern

Q. What is CAT 2022 Exam Pattern
Ans.
CAT 2022 is a computer based test. It is likely to have 66 questions divided into 3 sections of VARC, DILR and QA

 

Q. What is the CAT 2022 exam date?
A.
CAT 2022 exam date is November 27, 2022. The exam will be conducted in three slots morning, afternoon and evening

 

Q. Is CAT an online examination?
A. CAT is not an online examination. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT). A candidate will not take the examination on an internet site.

 

Q. During this Corona virus pandemic and lock down will IIMs allow to take the examination from any computer?
A.
The decision will be taken at the appropriate time after reviewing the situation. However, so far the candidates have taken the examination on a workstation assigned at the test centre based on the test cities selected while registering for CAT. The test centre details are printed on the Admit Card.

 

Q. Will IIMs provide some model test to understand CAT exam pattern?
A.
Yes, a practice test will be available on the CAT website: www.iimcat.ac.in  in mid October 2022. You can familiarize yourself with the functionality and navigation of the actual exam.

 

Q. How many sections are there in CAT 2022?
A.
CAT 2022 will have three sections:

  • Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • Section III: Quantitative Ability

Q. Do the non-MCQ type questions carry equal marks as MCQs?
A.
Yes, all questions carry equal marks. However, for non-MCQ type questions, you must type the answer.

 

Q. Can I bring a calculator to the CAT exam centre?
A. No,
Candidates are prohibited from bringing calculators to the testing centre. You may use the onscreen calculator that will be available throughout the exam.

 

Q. How many non-MCQs are there in each section?
A.
IIMs do not disclose the number of NON-MCQ questions. They may vary from section to section from year to year.

 

Q. Is there a specific order for answering sections? Can I attempt sections the way I want?
A.
Yes, you must answer the sections in a pre-specified order and this order will remain the same for all the candidates.

 

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